2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

Conflicting reports have surfaced regarding the Toyota Prius following the car's recent image problems, recalls and hard knocks. Depending on which source is accurate, Toyota is either considering increasing or decreasing Prius production.

Reuters is reporting that Toyota plans a ten percent reduction in production at two plants located in Japan. If the numbers are true, output will go from 50,000 units per month to 45,000 units. The two production facilities are currently working at full output after Toyota decided to postpone adding production capacities at a third plant. On the flip side, the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper, reports that production will increase twelve percent, a move which includes the addition of the hybrid to the production plans at a third plant to increase output by 6,000 vehicles per month. Toyota has denied the reports and a spokesperson for the company went on record stating that the outlook for the Prius is "uncertain."

With the U.S. as the largest market for the iconic hybrid, the company aims to overcome its recent negative image issues and to put its current problems behind them. In the short term, sales numbers here suggest that Toyota may decrease production but the move is unlikely to last for long as the Prius is number one in sales, a title the company will work diligently to retain.


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[Source: Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Reuters]